Chiapas: AMLO Announces Modernization of SCLC – Palenque Highway

July 14, 2019

AMLOPhoto @ Tabasco Hoy

On July 6th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the modernization of the San Cristobal de Las Casas – Palenque highway at a public meeting in Ocosingo during a work tour.

He mentioned “we are going to look for nothing more than to modernize it, to expand it” which means the cancellation of the infrastructure work of a new super highway; an old plan that for years received a strong rejection, especially by the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym).

In response to the cancellation, the Business Center of Chiapas (CECH in its Spanish acronym) “asked the state and federal governments to make all the pertinent considerations before truncating a work whose need has been demonstrated over the years.”

For more information in Spanish:

En Ocosingo, presidente López Obrador anuncia ampliación de carretera Palenque-San Cristóbal (Presidencia de la República, 7 de julio de 2019)

“Llegó la hora de invertir en sureste de México”, dice AMLO (Milenio, 6 de julio de 2019)

Pide Cech reconsiderar posible cancelación de autopista SCLC-Palenque (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 10 de julio de 2019)

8 municipios se unen y rechazan construcción de carretera San Cristóbal de las Casas-Palenque (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Expresiones de solidaridad y preocupación ante los hostigamientos a integrantes del CEDIAC y de la Misión Jesuita de Bachajón (20 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Agentes municipales de Chilón toman acciones para socavar las posibilidades de pasar a un sistema por Usos y Costumbres. (11 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Modevite ratifica su rechazo a la construcción de la super carretera entre San Cristóbal de las Casas y Palenque (2 de mayo de 2019) Chiapas: New meeting in Los Llanos against the planned SCLC-Palenque highway (October 25, 2014)

 

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National/International: “Government Should Halt Abuses of Public and Private Companies”: Civil Society Focal Group on Companies and Human Rights

July 12, 2019

CompaniesPhoto @ Animal Politico

On July 4th, 2019, the Civil Society Focal Group of on Companies and Human Rights, which is made up of different national and international organizations, among others, Oxfam Mexico and Services and Consultancy for Peace (SERAPAZ in its Spanish acronym), published a statement in which it demands that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) “attends to human rights violations committed by companies” in Mexico.

It specifies that given the human rights crisis and omnipresent impunity in the country, the government has the obligation to “act with consistency and ensure respect for individual and collective guarantees also in their commitment to megaprojects and all collaboration agreements it makes with large Mexican and foreign companies.”

The Group identifies as a fundamental point that the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights are respected, in addition to international agreements, such as the Escuazu Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, be ratified and put into action. Manifesting that “the balance between development projects and respect for the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples over their territories and natural commons is necessary, particularly as regards megaprojects such as the Dos Bocas Refinery, the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus corridor, roads and dams, among others, without neglecting campesino communities and respect for labor and union rights.”

They conclude that government strategies, such as the National Human Rights Program, should contemplate “a discussion on the responsibility of companies in the matter”, in addition to promoting solid public policies incorporating a human rights approach. This is necessary so that the ten billion dollars of foreign direct investment entering the country are applied coherently between economic interests and the aforementioned rights.

For more information in Spanish:

México: Grupo Focal de Empresas y Derechos Humanos recuerda al gobierno que está pendiente atender a violaciones de derechos humanos cometidos por empresas (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 4 de julio de 2019)

Atender violaciones a derechos humanos cometidas por empresas, otra tarea pendiente de la 4T (Comunicado del Grupo Focal en CEMDA, 4 de julio de 2019)

Gurría pide congruencia a AMLO en megaproyectos; “no tiene autoridad moral”, le responde (El Sol de México, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Ante los megaproyectos, el mega-reproche: AMLO no cumple (Proceso, 9 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Cuarto aniversario del Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusno en Acacoyagua (June 24th, 2019)

Oaxaca: Es publicado el decreto del decreto del Corredor Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec; se movilizan para detener su instrumentación (June 15th, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13, 2018)


Chiapas/Tabasco: Ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores Murdered

June 17, 2019

c3adndice

@Regeneración

On June 10th, the Tabasco ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores was found murdered, near Calatraba ejido, municipality of Palenque, in Chiapas. The 64-year-old was a defender of the howler (Saragauto) monkey sanctuary and the Usumacinta River. His body had five bullet wounds and threatening messages were found next to it on cardboard against his family and ecologists.

Since 2012, Alvarez Flores was in charge of the Saraguato Environmental Management Unit (UMA) and at various times made accusations about the illegal extraction of sand and gravel from the Usumacinta River. As a result, he requested protection measures from the government but never received them.

Miguel Perez, president of the Tabasco Environmental Management Units, declared after the events: “We condemn this cowardly murder, we demand justice, protection for his family and two other defenders who were threatened.” According to figures from Global Witness, at least 125 environmentalists were killed in Mexico in the last decade.

Among possible contextual elements, Minuta de EDUCA recalls that, “the Usumacinta River is the largest river in Mexico and if the Maya Train project is materialized, it would be the main source of extraction of stone for the construction of this megaproject questioned by environmentalists.”

For more information in Spanish:

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista que luchaba por el mono saraguato (Animal Político, 11 de junio de 2019)

José Luis Álvarez, ecologista y defensor del santuario del mono saraguato, es asesinado (Sin Embargo, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan al ecologista mexicano José Luis Álvarez (Desinformémonos, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista en Tabasco (Regeneración, 11 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca Murdered (January 14, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)


Guerrero: 16 CRAC PC and CECOP Prisoners Released

June 17, 2019
rednoticias

@Red Noticias

On June 7th, the 16 members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP in its Spanish acronym) and the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC in its Spanish acronym) were declared innocent. They had been arrested on January 7th, 2018, following violence in La Concepcion, in the rural area of ​​Acapulco, where six civilians and five community policemen were killed, The first thirteen were released on the same day, including the spokesman and leader of the CECOP, Marco Antonio Suastegui Muñoz. It is expected that the others will leave in the coming days.

In an interview with reporters, the lawyer of La Montaña, Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of, Vidulfo Rosales Sierra said that the judges ruled in favor, since the Public Prosecutor’s Office could not verify the full responsibility of the detainees. He stressed that the court expressed “its concerns about these extremely inadequate investigations, where there was torture, evidence was extracted illegally, where they were also in the Office of the Prosecutor for many days and the defense was not allowed to enter to speak with them, and in all that time, illegal evidence was obtained.”

Given the risk of fresh confrontation between the inhabitants of La Concepcion and the people who will be released, Vidulfo Rosales called for a reconciliation and pacification path that “is not only of the parties, but must also come from the State”, recognizing that there are many old grievances and disputes that exist in the area.

On the same day, in Chilpancingo, members of the Movement for the Liberation of the Political Prisoners of Guerrero were evicted by riot police when they blocked the Sol highway between Mexico and Acapulco precisely to demand the release of the prisoners who were innocent.

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a comunitarios y miembros del Cecop (La Jornada, 7 de junio de 2019)

Liberaron a 16 defensores del agua en Guerrero (Regeneración, 7 de junio de 2019)

Dictan libertad absolutoria a los 16 detenidos de la CRAC-PC y CECOP (Quadratin, 7 e de junio de 2019)


Excarcelan a 13 opositores a La Parota (La Jornada, 8 de junio de 2019)

Policías desalojan a manifestantes de la Autopista del Sol (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2019)

Bloquea Movimiento por Libertad de Presos Políticos la Autopista del Sol (Quadratin, 7 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Urgent Action “No Dam, No Prisoners”, Demands Release of 16 Indigenous CECOP Members (March 14, 2019)

Guerrero/International: MEPs and International Organizations Express Concern over Criminalization of CECOP Members (February 13, 2019)

Guerrero: national and international organizations visit prisoners of the CECOP and the CRAC-PC (October 10, 2018)


Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018

June 4, 2019

Frayba

On May 27th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a bulletin warning that, “aggressions against peoples, communities and organizations have intensified as part of a strategy to contain civil and peaceful resistance in defense of territory.” Two years after the Constituent Assembly of the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym), of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym).

It illustrated the statement by referring to the six indigenous defenders who have been murdered so far in 2019, as well as mentioning the CNI’s own denunciations since December 2018 with situations of “dispossession, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, threats, harassment, criminalization and attempts of executions.”

Frayba denounced that “this logic of war against the peoples that build autonomy, is reproduced in the increase of militarization of Zapatista territories, especially the incursions, flights and espionage of the Mexican Army to the headquarters of the Junta de Buen Government Toward Hope, in La Realidad Caracol (Official Municipality of Las Margaritas). This containment is deepened by the presence of the National Guard in the region, which increases risks to the integrity and security of the population.”

In this context, Frayba demanded that the Mexican State: “Cease the attacks against peoples, communities and organizations that make up the National Indigenous Congress; justice for the defenders and communicators murdered in the country; and high militarization in Chiapas and Mexico.”

For more information in Spanish:

Contrainsurgencia a Pueblos Originarios que construyen la vida digna (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 27 de mayo de 2019)

Las agresiones contra pueblos originarios se intensifican: Frayba (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Two Members of CRAC-PF and CIPOG-EZ Murdered (May 28, 2019)

Guerrero: CNI Denounces Kidnapping and Murder of Two Members (May 11, 2019)

Chiapas: denuncian dos comunidades choles de Salto de Agua amenazas, persecución y hostigamientos (El 22 de abril de 2019)

National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City (March 14, 2019)

Chiapas : CNI denuncia amenazas y agresiones en la zona Norte (El 16 de agosto de 2018)


International: The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and The Mexican Government Announce Plan for Gas Pipeline Connecting Mexico and Central America

June 4, 2019

Pipeline@Tiempo Digital

At the beginning of May, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) proposed to the president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), an electricity network and a gas pipeline to connect Mexico with Central America.

The plan would connect the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus Corridor with these new projects. ECLAC stated that the proposal will promote development in the region, and would be a response to the structural causes behind migration from Central America to the North, which include slow economic growth and lack of employment.

On May 27th, the Mexican government and ECLAC announced a gas pipeline project, from Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico, to Puerto Cortes, in northern Honduras. The gas pipeline would also cross Guatemala and El Salvador.

At a press conference, President AMLO and the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Barcena Ibarra, explained that the project will cost 19 billion dollars, which they hope to cover between public and private investments.

For more information in Spanish:

Proponen conectar Tren Maya y Corredor Transístmico hasta Centroamérica Educa, 27 de mayo de 2019.

De Salina Cruz, gas y energía vital para Centro América NVI Noticias, 27 de mayo de 2019.

Propone Cepal impulsar Tren Maya hasta Centroamérica Tiempo Digital, 5 de mayo de 2019.

Para más información de SIPAZ:

National: Bidding Process Begins for Maya Train without Previous Consultation with Indigenous Peoples (May 10, 2019)

National: AMLO Announces Consultation for the Construction of the Maya Train (November 14, 2018)

Mexico: proposal from future AMLO government – Mayan Train to tour the southern states of the country and attract more tourism  (September 15, 2018)


National/International: OECD Calls for Congruency on Environment from Mexican Government

May 15, 2019

OECD.png@Mexican Government

On May 3rd, as part of the presentation of the report “Financing climate futures. Rethinking infrastructure”, that took place in the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT in its Spanish acronym), the secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Jose Angel Gurria Treviño Gurria, asked the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to be congruent with the commitments that Mexico has assumed in terms of respect for the environment and climate change. This, in particular before the start of works such as the Maya Train, the construction of the Dos Bocas Refinery in Tabasco, and the coal-fired power plant project.

He emphasized that, “climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity. The number of countries that are alarmed by the seriousness of this phenomenon increases every day. More than 180 nations ratified the Paris Agreement. They recognized the need to act immediately. However, efforts to achieve global climate goals remain insufficient.” “We are facing a global emergency, a historical emergency. We cannot advance “little by little””, he said.

While acknowledging that “there are national and local governments that have taken the lead, and I am very proud to say that Mexico has been one of them”, “through strong decisions at home and active participation in the multilateral sphere”, he expressed concern “for some of the infrastructure investment plans of the new administration, such as the plans for the construction of a coal-fired power plant, a new refinery in Dos Bocas and the Maya Train. This type of investment would point in the opposite direction to Mexico’s international climate commitments and the global effort to combat climate change.”

He also stressed that the tax burden in Mexico is still highly “petrolized” when “betting on fossil fuels is going against the planet, against the life and health of our citizens, against history. Reducing our emissions and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable growth is not only possible, it is the only intelligent development option we have.” He ended his speech affirming that “now is the time to turn the plans into norms and make investment decisions in infrastructure congruent with a sustainable future.”

For more information in Spanish:

Presentación del Estudio de la OCDE “Financiando los Futuros Climáticos” (OCDE, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Gurría pide a López Obrador congruencia de megaproyectos con medio ambiente (Proceso, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Secretario de la OCDE alerta impactos ambientales en Tren Maya y nueva refinería (Animal Político, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Alerta Gurría de impacto al ambiente por planes de infraestructura (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2019)

OCDE pide a AMLO congruencia en proyectos ambientales (Milenio, 3 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Bidding Process Begins for Maya Train without Previous Consultation with Indigenous Peoples (May 10, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13, 2018)